Welcome back to our libraries!

Most public libraries in the city are reopening for the lead up to Christmas from Wednesday 2 December. 

All services available before November will be available again, including limited browsing and borrowing in libraries, free access to PCs, and our ‘Order & Collect’ service. 

We’re still not able to open the libraries in Mile Oak and Hollingbury Old Boat Corner as they are in shared buildings. 

Patcham Library is also remaining closed while we carry out refurbishment work, and Rottingdean and Westdene Libraries are temporarily closed for urgent repair work.

Visit our library services available during Covid-19 webpage for full details and opening times.

Face coverings required

Please remember that restrictions are still needed to keep visitors and staff safe, such as physical distancing and the need to quarantine books.

Face coverings are required inside all the buildings, apart from people who are exempt. Exemptions include children under 11, people with disabilities or breathing difficulties, and those with people who rely on lip reading. 

As the number of people who can be safely accommodated in the libraries is limited, we’re asking for visits to be kept to a maximum of 15 minutes.

Use of the library computers is limited to an hour, or two hours for concessions. Everyone using computers will be asked to clean them before and after use with wipes provided.

New services from Monday 7 December

From Monday 7 December, we are extending our ‘Order & Collect’ service so members can collect their books from your nearest open library.  

The collection service will be available in Coldean, Hangleton, Moulsecoomb, Portslade, Saltdean, Whitehawk and Woodingdean libraries, as well as Jubilee and Hove libraries.

Library members can order books online on their chosen subject or genre which will be selected by library staff from the stock in their local library. Once confirmed, books can be collected at your convenience within the following two weeks.

Books can also be ordered by emailing libraries@brighton-hove.gov.uk or calling 01273 290800.

We will be reintroducing our reservation service from Monday 7 December for anyone looking to request a specific book or item. Usual reservation charges will apply.

Bookable tables for quiet study, reading or learning will be also be available at Jubilee and some of the community libraries.  

The number of tables will be limited to maintain distancing and will be for individual use only, unless by special arrangement.

Bookings are for two hours, and there are sockets available for you to plug in your own devices.  

Borrow early for Christmas!

Libraries will be closed this year between Christmas and New Year, so get yourself stocked up beforehand!

The final opening day this year will be Christmas Eve and libraries will reopen from Saturday 2 January.

Library members can borrow up to 40 items at a time, and don’t need to worry about overdue fines as the pre-Christmas loans will not be due back for nine weeks from when they’re issued.

Our digital services will continue to be available over the Christmas period. There are many eBooks, eAudiobooks, eNewpapers, eMagazines, eComics and online activities for families you can enjoy for free.

Winter Mini Challenge for young readers

Our Winter Mini Challenge for young readers has also started.

We’ve teamed up with children’s publisher Knights Of to bring you the ‘Everyone Is A Hero’ reading challenge to meet characters from Knights and Bikes, High-Rise Mystery, and the Run series.

The challenge began on Tuesday 1 December 2020 and ends on Friday 15 January 2021.

All young readers have to do to complete the Winter Mini Challenge is read at least three books.

Books can be rated and reviewed on the wintermini.org.uk website while the challenge is on. This will unlock a limited-edition virtual badge for their profile and a special certificate to print out and keep. Go to wintermini.org.uk to sign-up!

Sign-up to our libraries

Councillor Steph Powell, joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee said:

“I’m very happy to see our libraries open again. It’s a service many residents rely upon.

“We’ll be expanding our ‘Order & Collect’ service so that residents won’t need to travel to the city’s central libraries to collect their books.

“The service has proved very popular since we introduced it as an alternative safe borrowing option in the summer, and I hope this move will allow more residents to take advantage.

“If you’re not yet a member of our libraries, it’s quick and easy to join. All members can use any of our open libraries, including free use of the computers.”

Visit our join our libraries page for more details.

All you need to know

Visit our libraries webpages to find out more. 

You can also email libraries@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone 01273 290800.

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